One of the most anticipated StarCraft 2 tournaments is just around the corner, with the world's best players getting ready to fight for their share of $500,000 in prize money.
A legendary esports event, the Intel Extreme Masters (IEM) Katowice is a CS:GO tournament held in Poland. In this guide, we'll go over all the participating teams, details about the schedule, as well as everything you need to know about IEM CS:GO betting!
The Dota Pro Circuit is in full flow. The next big tournament in this seasonal circuit is the PGL Arlington Major. Texas is the location, Esports Stadium Arlington is the venue of choice, and seventeen brilliant Dota 2 teams will be eyeing their chances here.
The LEC (League of Legends European Championship) is entering a new decade starting with the inaugural Winter split. From team rosters to an all-new tournament format, the league will be seeing much more competition.
Esports has evolved drastically over the past two decades, so much so that it is now considered parallel with real-life sports. On top of that, more and more Esports games, and genres, have begun appearing, expanding the Esports ecosystem.
We’re now at a point where games feature Esports tournaments on the regular. If you’re even the slightest gamer and Esports enjoyer, chances are that you’ll find something interesting to bet on. This guide will serve to educate you about some of the most popular Esports genres out there.
Before getting into the nitty-gritty of Esports genres, I’d like to help guide you through the first steps you will take on your betting journey. In general, this process is quick and seamless, although you will have to do a bit of research to determine which online betting operator is best for you.
In any case, here’s what the process should look like:
With the increase in Esports genres in the ecosystem, the number of Esports organizations representing their countries has also increased. We’ve now thousands of organizations coming from hundreds of countries – all of which make Esports a global phenomenon.
As such, your first foray into Esports betting must be met with caution and knowledge. The caution is up to you; the knowledge, we will provide. Here are the most popular Esports genres that you can bet on.
FPS games have been around for a very long time. We’ve come a long way from DOOM and Wolfenstein 3D, but the premise has stayed the same – shoot the enemies from the view of the ‘main character’ (or hero, whichever you prefer).
Not all First-Person Shooters are eligible for Esports, whether due to the lack of multiplayer features or the FPS mechanics aren’t fit for Esports. In any case, some of the most popular FPS games include CSGO, Rainbow Six Siege, Overwatch, and most recently, VALORANT.
MOBAs are few and far between but they have been the pinnacle of Esports for years. One of the first MOBAs, and arguably the most popular until the 2010s, was Defense of the Ancients; the precursor to Dota 2.
League of Legends was borne out of the same idea, the same in-game goal – 5v5 (in most cases) combat on one map, vying for full control by destroying the main enemy structure. Although there are stark differences between MOBA titles, the core gameplay is virtually the same.
The most popular Esports games of this genre are League of Legends, and Dota 2.
Real-time strategies were at one point in gaming history at the top of the food chain. Dozens of RTS games were coming out, including Starcraft, Warcraft, Supreme Commander, Company of Heroes, and many more.
However, the only one that would stand the test of time was Starcraft II. Starcraft II is still being played competitively today. Although it’s not a behemoth in the Esports world, it’s still very respected and loved by many gaming fans across the world.
Out of all the most popular Esports genres, this one is arguably the least popular. Still, we often see Esports tournaments for Hearthstone and MTG: Arena. On top of that, Legends of Runeterra might be an interesting Esports title in the future as well.
In general, the Digital Collectible Card Game genre is small, but favorable compared to some others that didn’t even make our list. Its main strength is that it’s somewhat comparable to real-world card trading which makes it an easy genre to get into betting.
Battle Royales aren’t exactly new; after all, we’ve had DayZ and H1Z1 back in the early 2010s. However, the esports genre wouldn’t become viable until the appearance of PUBG and Fortnite. Nowadays, it’s one of the most popular esports genres to play, but it isn’t immensely popular among Esports fans.
Even so, Battle Royale Esports tournaments attract hundreds of thousands of viewers, with the tournaments themselves being massive affairs with huge prize pools – at least the most prestigious ones. When you’ve got hundreds of players participating in a single match at once, it’s easy to see why people like watching and playing these games so much.
As for the games, you can expect to find PUBG, Fortnite, and Apex Legends at the forefront.
Lastly, the Sports genre. As far as these games go, they’ve established themselves as valuable sources of entertainment and competition. Sports games with balls (predominantly FIFA and NBA2K) are the leaders and most interesting to the fans.
Unfortunately, NBA2K hasn’t really kicked off in the Esports world but surprisingly, FIFA isn’t the top sports game either. That honor goes to Rocket League.
Now that we’ve wrapped up the genres, it’s time to talk about the games themselves. One thing to note before we begin – certain Esports games allow for fantasy team creation (League of Legends, Dota 2, etc.). This means you’ll be able to compete against other fans with your very own bespoke Esports team. You can find more about fantasy Esports here.
On to the games!
The Counter-Strike world is a rich one with a bountiful history, but its mark on Esports wouldn’t show up until CSGO was launched. Since then, CSGO has been the most popular FPS Esports title with millions of viewers tuning in almost daily for a tournament or two.
The premise is simple – two teams fight against each other on a specific map. One team is the ‘Terrorists’ and their goal is to either kill everyone on the opposing team or plant the bombs in specific locations, making sure they go off. The ‘Counter Terrorists’ aim to prevent that by either disarming the bombs once placed or killing the entire Terrorist team.
Rainbow Six Siege is the most tactical FPS title out of the 4 main Esports ones (CSGO, Rainbow Six, Overwatch, and VALORANT). It requires impeccable team communication, plenty of caution, and careful decision-making. One misstep could see a team lose even after lots of preparation.
It is similar to CSGO in that one team fights the other for map control and other objectives, but the key difference is characters. Or Operators, as they’re called in-game. See, each player chooses an ‘Operator’; a character that specializes in one out of many combat areas. Team composition is key in creating the best strategy possible to win.
Overwatch is a very specific type of FPS game; although combat is done from the first-person view, it features a similar character system to Rainbow Six. However, each character has unique abilities and weapons whose mechanics are more akin to MOBAs than FPS games.
On top of that, the match-winning objectives aren’t always the same, and neither are the maps. The characters that players control don’t stay dead until the end of the round; instead, they respawn after some time. This allows for gameplay to be constant and volatile – perfect for both viewers and punters.
VALORANT is the final FPS game that has lots of popularity among bettors and viewers alike. Its premise is similar to CSGO in the sense that one team has to plant a bomb (the spike) while the other fights to remove it.
However, as with Overwatch and R6S, it too features characters (agents) with unique abilities. You’ll still have to buy weapons though, so there’s plenty of strategy that goes into each match. VALORANT is slowly gaining traction in the Esports space and will soon become even more popular.
Out of the three MOBA games we’ll cover, League of Legends is the most popular. The annual number of viewers is insane, and it has an even larger player base. Overall, League of Legends has grown massively over the years, experiencing many visual, gameplay, and core changes.
The goal of the game is to defeat the enemy team by destroying their ‘Nexus’. Teams are made up of 5 players each with (ideally) each player playing a specific role for that team.
In most cases, one player will go to the top lane, one will go to the jungle, one in the mid lane, and two will go in the bottom lane. Team cohesion, composition, and caution are necessary for having successful performances.
Dota 2 is the successor to the original MOBA game – Defense of the Ancients. It is more complex and difficult than League of Legends, with gigantic prize pools, especially for The International. Still, it trails slightly behind LoL in popularity.
The game is very similar to LoL’s mechanics but more in-depth and requires additional tactical understanding. Nonetheless, Dota 2 provides us with stunning and memorable Esports moments that cannot be seen elsewhere. Each teamfight has a specific weight to it and requires impeccable team coordination.
Starcraft II has been the vanguard of RTS games since it was released. No other RTS game has come close to the Esports success that Starcraft II has generated. And although Starcraft II will slowly start leaving the Esports space (after all, it’s a 12-year old game with virtually no changes year after year), it will leave behind a lasting legacy.
In short, players have real-time control over their units and the aim of the game is to destroy the enemy’s base. Strategic knowledge and careful planning are very important in achieving success.
Hearthstone is the only collectible card game worth noting due to its popularity. It’s been around for a while and features lots of World of Warcraft lore in it. The gameplay can be slow but it’s also crucial due to players having to think ahead.
Professional players spend a great deal of time creating and analyzing their playing decks; synergies are the backbone of each deck so this planning is a necessity if they want any chance of winning. Hearthstone is a good choice for punters, but you will need to acquaint yourself with the players in order to make profitable bets.
As far as Battle Royale games go – all of them feature the same mechanics with slight differences.
In any case, Apex Legends is the third Battle Royale game that grew into the Esports role – with the first and second being PUBG and Fortnite, respectively. Nowadays, there are dozens of Apex Legends tournaments throughout the year – plenty of opportunities to place a couple of bets.
The most popular Esports game among younger audiences, Fortnite has paved the way for future Battle Royale games that want to be part of the Esports ecosystem. Fortnite was the first one to have a multi-million-dollar tournament – $15 million to be precise for the Fortnite World Cup.
As such, it can be considered a leader in the Esports field – that is, until you take the viewership numbers into account. They aren’t bad by any means, but they don’t exactly put Fortnite at the top. Nonetheless, it’s a very popular choice for both amateur and experienced punters.
PUBG was the first Battle Royale game that truly took off and started garnering attention from the Esports world.
However, it has fallen slightly out of favor for Fortnite and Apex Legends – two games that seem to have consistently growing player bases. Still, you can expect to find a couple of high-level Esports tournaments each competitive year.
Rocket League is plenty of fun for players, viewers, and punters alike. The game itself is very simple to understand – teams play against each other to score more goals and win. Essentially, Rocket League is vehicular football.
It’s been one of the most popular Esports games for a while now and provides a great betting platform for beginners.
FIFA Esports evolves with each new FIFA title. This year, we’re being treated to FIFA 22 tournaments. The game emulates real-life football, so the rules don’t need explaining.
There are a couple of main FIFA tournaments (FIFAe Club Series, FIFAe Nations Series, and the FIFAe World Cup) and plenty of smaller ones. Those who like football in real life will love betting on and watching FIFA as well.
MOBAs usually have the largest and most prestigious Esports tournaments such as Dota 2’s The International or League of Legends’ World Championship. This genre also has the highest viewership and participation out of all others.
That depends on what metric we’re looking at. If we’re talking about prize money – Dota 2 takes the cake with $150,000,000 more than the CSGO – the second game in terms of prize money. On the other hand, if we’re talking about the number of tournaments and competing players, then CSGO wins with over 6,000 tournaments hosted and more than 14,500 active players.
As far as viewership goes, League of Legends is the undisputed champion with more than 73,000,000 concurrent viewers at one time.
All Esports games are great choices to bet on but for starters, you may want a game that is beginner-friendly and easy to understand. League of Legends and CSGO are the obvious candidates – great odds, simple to understand, and a clear difference between the top teams and the midtable teams. These are 3 exceptional betting operators that you can start with: 1xBet, GGBet, and Rivalry.
Although we cannot provide an accurate number due to the lack of such information, a rough estimate would put the number of Esports organizations in the thousands. Keep in mind that certain organizations have multiple teams across multiple games, so the number of teams is a few times larger than that.
Most online betting operators support a wide variety of payment methods, with the most popular being Paypal, credit cards, and Bitcoin. When registering, make sure to follow the links we’ve provided to receive betting bonuses.